[Cheerless #6] CheerSoaked: A Tale Of Two Freaks

Libby Up The Girl

"Sabrina! Wh-what-"

"Good afternoon, Libby." Wow, was her voice cold; it sent shivers down my spine, and the fact that I could almost feel her energy crackling around her didn't bring about good feelings, either. "How's every little thing?"

"Uhh..." That was all I could come up with as she strode past me into the living room.

"And look! Here we have Roxie and Ophelia. Where's Morgan and the band, or didn't they get invited to the pow-wow?"

"Sabrina-"

"What are you doing?" she demanded quietly as she turned to me. "Because if I didn't know better, I'd say this looked like you were all talking behind my back. But why would you do that?"

"Sabrina," Roxie bravely ventured, "it... it's complicated."

"You're telling them, aren't you?" she whispered to me, trying to do it quietly enough so our two companions couldn't hear. "Everything."

"No!"

"You are." She sighed, throwing her hands in the air. "Why did I think for a second that I could trust you? Change though you might, you're still the same gossip you were in high school. I can't believe I let my guard down."

"Now, that's not fair," I said, almost getting angry... but I was too hurt. "I never said I was going to tell them, and here you are just assuming everything, like everybody else does these days!"

"What am I supposed to think?!" At that point I could tell she was getting too worked up to be able to control her words, and it's lucky I noticed because... "That Westbridge's busiest busybody could somehow manage to keep this juicy news under her hat? Hey everybody, guess what? Sabrina Spellman, journalism major extrordinaire, is really a w-"

My hands became the Hoover Dam.

"Let's take this into the bedroom," I hissed pointedly.

"NO!" she snarled, ripping my hands away from her mouth. "You seriously think I'm ever going in there with you again?! Hell no, not after last time!"

It was my turn to be the ice queen again; I didn't have to see the shocked stares from Roxie and Ophie to know they existed, and the sudden venting of our dirty laundry in front of them was enough to freeze me over but good. "The kitchen, then. Now."

Luckily, the fact that I was now as deadly serious as she was made her listen, and she crossed her arms and stomped into the kitchen.

"A minute?" I said over my shoulder to Ophelia and Roxie, not bothering to wait for a reply as I swept after the blonde... though I think I heard Ophelia mutter, "Great Scott..."

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"You are an absolute bitch!" she began as I walked in behind her. "Of all the bitches there ever were since the dawn of mankind, you are without a doubt the-"

"Are you comatose?!" I hissed in her ear. "You almost broadcasted your own secret to the living room at large! Is your head screwed on right?"

"How can I tell them what they already know? Or..." That was a funny look, trust me. "Oh. Wow, geez, you really didn't do it, huh? Now I feel like-"

"An idiot," I finished, hands on hips. "You should. And for your information, Ophelia's on to you, so it might be wise to keep a tighter lid on it around her."

"She... what?" The anger in her eyes had almost completely abated by then. "How would she know?"

"Something about sniffing out your chi or whatever," I snapped dismissively. "But she knows - or at least has a damn good idea. How big of a poser is she now?"

That put the colour back in her cheeks. "Maybe she's not. Gosh, I don't even know why I got so upset with her over the whole Wicca deal; what's wrong with me? Man... maybe I'm the absolute bitch."

Silence. Itchy silence, at that. Neither of us could think of a good launching point as we shuffled around the thousands of unapproachable subjects we were surrounded by on all sides, until at last...

"Thanks," she muttered. "For helping me not get myself de-witchified."

"Sure. It was the least I could do, after..."

Then our eyes locked, and in hers I could see something that turned my stomach. It was the same thing that had spurred me onward the previous night, causing me to commit grievous sins and generally louse everything up, but only now could I see it - now that her rage had died down.

"Oh my God," I gasped. "But, no, I- I-"

"Don't," she whispered. "I don't think you can."

"But I have to try! Sabrina, you're... you're scared of me! How can- that's not- I don't want that!"

"Wouldn't you be scared of me if I tried to- to-"

"No." On the verge of crying already, I clutched the counter for support. "That is, you have to understand, I wouldn't have done that, even if you hadn't thrown me off! I'm not that kind of person!"

"But you are! You're the kind of person who controlls everything, who has to make it all about her without considering what anybody else thinks or wants!" She looked at me for a moment, as if trying to read a signpost in a foreign language. "Or... you were before, and you were again last night. When you tried to... force me."

"I know that, I do!" I breathed, fighting down the temptation to run away... or toward. "But I- I didn't mean-"

"Who are you? Are you Libby Chessler, the cheerleader teen queen? Are you Cheerless, the goth rocker with a heart of gold? Or are you Libbs, Adymm's Ivy League girlfriend? Or... God, I can't ever be comfortable with you if I don't know who you are!"

This might have been the wrong time, but it had to be addressed sooner or later. "Well, I'm not that last one anymore. Adymm and I broke up... or, well, he dumped my ass like a sack of moldy potatoes."

She winced at the analogy. "What?! Libby, I- I had no idea, I- are you okay? Of course you're not, why did I ask that?"

"You don't have to be nice to me about it. After what I did to you... yeah, you're right. I can't make amends for it, maybe as long as I live." My eyes dropped to the floor. "And maybe I am kind of all over the place right now, and- and I'm sorry that it seems to mean you getting stepped on. You should probably steer clear of me and my drama."

"Sound advice," she agreed. "Except... I'm not sure I can."

"Huh?"

"For the same reasons I can't handle this, I don't think I can distance myself from it, either. Holy hamburgers, would it make things easier if I could! But... but things are never easy, at least nothing important. Just, tell me one thing, please?"

My heart was all of a flutter, don't ask me why. "Name it."

But she didn't answer at first; she just stared at the linoleum, then at the refrigerator, and finally at the ceiling fan as she asked, "Why do you have a budding scar on your wrist? Is it my fault? Because if it is-"

"Sabrina, it's okay," I soothed, reaching for her arm automatically - but she backed out of reach. "You don't have to worry like that, it's just a scratch."

"That looks mighty deep to be caused by an errant wire hanger," she said, her voice shaking. "I- I didn't mention it yesterday out of respect, b-but... tell me, how can I change? How can I not cause you to- to do crazy stuff like that? If it's the magic, consider it gone; it's not worth having if-"

"You didn't do anything wrong!" She needed to stop killing me with kindness, because it truly was shredding me apart inside. "I- I almost raped your brains out last night, how can you care what happens to me? Can you really be that perfect?"

And once more, we entered The Weirdness Zone.

"Stop," she whispered, looking meeker by the moment. "Don't call me that."

"But you are!" Inwardly waving the white flag, I moved toward her, and this time she only tensed noticeably. "I've done things to you that could probably get me hanged in some countries, and yet you somehow care about some half-assed suicide attempt? Jesus, we should be cloning you!"

"Suicide!" she squeaked, the delicate hand returning to her mouth. "So you did; you... Libby, no!"

"It- it's not like you think," I said hurriedly, shifting uncomfortably; how could I put her mind at ease about something this uneasy? "It was one of those momentary lapses of sanity, I- I hadn't had much sleep, I wasn't thinking straight, and- and once I took a breath and realised what I was doing, it-"

"Was it my fault?" When I didn't answer, she grabbed me by the shoulders, her stubby, chewed-down nails (something else that was my doing?) digging into my flesh even though my shirt. "Why won't you say anything?! Did I seriously drive you to such drastic measures?!"

"No, not just you," I began lamely. Lying was a bad policy, but it was hard to be honest without the accompanying brutality. "It was everything building up into one big-"

"NO!" she blubbered, slipping to the floor, arms falling around my legs. "No, Libby, no!"

I started freaking out myself as I watched her. "S-Sabrina!"

"You can't! You... I never wanted you to die! Please, God, don't die, don't die on me..."

"I'm not!" I shushed as I knelt beside her, holding her head under my chin without even thinking about it. "Come on, look, I'm fine! I don't know why you should care exactly, b-but you don't have to worry! It's okay, I'm okay!"

But she didn't say anything else; instead, she sobbed into my arms, making unintelligible noises for a while before she gave up on talking completely. Without real reason, I glanced around automatically for someone, anyone to make her feel better, but of course there was only us - it was entirely up to me. No matter how much I wanted her in my arms, which was a question I didn't have the answer for, I kept wishing it had happened some other way. Some way that didn't involve her heart breaking again.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~~*~ END Chapter Nine

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